I got a call from Tom asking me to meet him in our local pub to discuss the script and how best to present it to to the director general of the BBC. Unfortunately, I was running a bit late and Tom was already three quarters down his third pint of cider.

Tom used to be a lighthouse keeper, but due to the lighthouse automation scheme (read about that here) a few years ago, he lost his job and has been out of work ever since.

Tom was gently rocking from side to side, which he assured me wasn’t due to the cider, but to the zinadol he’d had with his breakfast.

It was hard to steer the conversation to work, Tom preferring to talk about his childhood in deepest darkest Lancashire. He started telling me about this really brilliant thing he had at home called his “Ant Arena”. He said he’d had it since his schooldays. He told me it was a Burnley thing, rooted in the early 1980’s; that loads of kids up there had them back then.

How to make an Ant Arena

1 Preparation

Take a gentleman’s pocket watch. Remove all the gubbins.

NOTE: Check with Antique’s Roadshow to make sure it’s not worth £80,000

2. The Entrance

Remove winding mechanism to reveal ‘hole’ (a). This is your Ant Arena ‘entrance’

3. Loading the Arena

Follow this diagram to insert your ants into the arena.

NOTE: you can obviously dispense with the removal of the winding mechanism and the addition of the ‘entrance funnel’ by simply opening the lid, and dropping the ants in.

4. Bets Gentlemen Please!

Choose your red ant champion. If he wins reward him with ant food. Test his mettle on numerous configurations of foes: 2 black ants, 1 red ant, 1 black and 1 red, 2 reds. Maybe paint a tiny logo on his back and get brand sponsorship.

5. Portable Training Centre ™

For day to day fitness training of your champ.